BLB’s New Build Development Manager, Jill Cade, explains what is covered by a new build home warranty. Jill is available on 01225 755656 or by completing the Contact Form below.
Conveyancing quotes are also available online.
Buying something of value brand new, instead of second hand, means it’s likely to come with a warranty. And that applies just as much to your home as to a car, laptop, or television.
Much as we like to imagine that a newly built property will be flawless, the reality is there’s a good chance you will find issues to be addressed both before and after moving in. That’s why a warranty from the developer is so crucial. But what does NHBC cover?
Check out Jill’s New build conveyancing guide
What is an NHBC warranty?
The new build home warranty we are most familiar with is issued by the National House-Building Council (NHBC). Housebuilders take out their warranties to cover various development types and schemes, including:
- Private sales
- Build to rent
- Custom builds
- Shared ownership
However, NHBC is not the only warranty provider for new homes. Others include:
- Premier Guarantee
- Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC)
- Federation of Master Builders (FMB)
What does NHBC cover?
NHBC and other new build warranties cover both smaller defects (often called ‘snaggings’) and structural issues. But it’s important to understand that there are two timeframes at play.
For two years from completion, the warranty covers both issues, but after that, only structural issues are covered. Knowing when your defects period ends is essential, and you should keep a rolling snagging list to ensure everything is sorted out before the cover ends.
Most structural warranties last for ten years, but some can be extended to twelve years.
What is not covered by NHBC?
It’s just as important to know what your new build warranty does not cover. Common exclusions include:
- Weather damage
- Natural disasters
- Wear and tear
And whilst issues such as damp may be covered, that’s only if the root cause is traced to a problem during building. Also, if you allow condensation to accumulate and, as a result, mould takes hold, that’s not the builder’s responsibility.
Is a new build home warranty transferable?
New build home warranties attach to the property, not the owner. So, if you move within the policy’s lifetime, the benefit passes to your buyer. A current warranty is a good selling point, so always make your estate agent aware you have one. But note that any improvements you have made since moving in will not be covered.
What should I do if I suspect a more serious problem?
Any problems should be reported to your builder as soon as possible, and that’s particularly important if the problem is serious. A delay might result in further damage, invalidating your warranty.
Always assume the worst, i.e. that you and the builder will end up in dispute. So, retain any correspondence between you and keep a detailed record of conversations, including dates, times, and who you spoke to.
NHBC vs Building Regulations
Sometimes, your warranty provider certifies building regulations compliance as well as providing the warranty. However, this does not happen as a matter of course and your conveyancing solicitor must ask the right questions of the developer’s solicitors. If the warranty does not cover building regulation consent, your solicitor must ensure that the contract provides for the completion certificate to be obtained separately from the Local Authority. Overlooking a building regulations completion certificate simply because there’s a new build warranty in place can lead to serious issues when you come to sell the property.